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Investigate Killing of Nigerian, Embassy Urges Ukraine Government

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 02:42


The Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine has petitioned the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Police Department in Kharkiv, demanding full investigations into circumstances surrounding the alleged stabbing to death of a Nigerian, Gbolade Ejemai, on August 8.

Ejemai, a medical doctor, was allegedly stabbed to death by one Victoria Popravko, with the connivance of her father in Ukraine.

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who had been in touch with the family of the deceased and Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine, confirmed the petition in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement was signed by NIDCOM’s Head of Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, in Abuja.

Dabiri-Erewa said the petition was delivered to the Ukrainian authorities on behalf of the Nigerian Government.

She said, “We have requested for a full and thorough investigation into the circumstance surrounding his demise, with a view to ensuring that justice is carried out.”

Dabiri-Erewa described the killing of Ejemai as a sad one and prayed for God to give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.

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Kashifu Abdullahi Appointed As New NITDA Boss

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 02:42


Kashifu Abdullahi has been appointed by the government as the new Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency.

Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA, Mrs Hadiza Umar, confirmed the appointment in Abuja on Tuesday.

Umar quoted a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, confirming the appointment.

Abdullahi until his appointment was a principal officer at the Central Bank of Nigeria but was on secondment to NITDA as a Technical Assistant.

Other appointments by the government according to Shehu, included Senator Basheer Mohammed who replaced Mrs Sadiya Farouk as Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.

Dr Chioma Ejikeme was appointed to replace Mrs Sharon Ikeazor as the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.

Mr Adeleke Adewolu’s name had also been forwarded to the Senate to replace Mr Sunday Dare as Executive Commissioner, Nigerian Communications Commission.

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Three Policemen Killed As Robbers Attack Nasarawa Deputy Governor’s Convoy

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 02:38


Three policemen and a civilian lost their lives on Tuesday when suspected armed robbers attacked the convoy of Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Emmanuel Akabe.

Akabe was on his way to Abuja when the robbers struck few kilometres from Akwanga at about 6:00pm.

Spokesperson for the police in the state, ASP Usman Samaila, confirmed the incident during a chat with journalists in Lafia, the capital.

Meanwhile, one of those in the convoy, said the armed robbers opened fire on the convoy before fleeing.

The bodies of the victims had been deposited at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia, it was revealed.

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Nigeria University To Develop Policy To Curb Sexual Harassment

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 01:45


Following the rising spate of sexual crimes in Nigerian universities, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State, is set to formulate a policy to put an end to sexual offences in tertiary institutions.

The policy, if effectively implemented, would curb the rising rate of sexual harassment and assaults, which is daily increasing in the country.

A visiting professor at TASUED's Centre for Human Rights and Gender Education, Stella Odebode, stated that the policy would help to “provide a safe and secured place void of harassment on students and by extension, on Nigerians at large”.

She stressed that the policy would create a committee, which would respond to cases of sexual and gender-based violence across Nigerian campuses.

She said, “The committee would be all inclusive because there would be students as representatives to ensure that the right thing is done.”

Executive Director of Gender Mobile, Omowumi Ogunrotimi, explained that formulating a sexual harassment policy in tertiary institutions is the most effective means to address sexual harassment in schools.

She noted that the policy would "help to create avenue for sexual victims to seek redress", adding that institutions would also be strengthened to provide a strong response to cases of sexual crimes.

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Cameroon Separatist Leaders Jailed For Life

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 01:26


Ten Cameroonians abducted from a hotel in Abuja in February 2018 by the Department of State Services and deported to Cameroon, have been given life sentences by a military court in the French-speaking West African country. 

The men, who were leaders of the move to declare the North-Western and South-Western regions of the Central African state as the Republic of Ambazonia, were found guilty on all counts. 

Some of the secessionist leaders behind bars have Nigerian passports and their councils have said they will appeal the judgment. 

The men were convicted on charges of secession, hostility to the state, complicity in acts of terrorism, financing acts of terrorism, revolution, insurrection, propagation of false information. See Also ACTIVISM Nigerian Govt Deports Cameroonian Separatist Leaders 0 Comments 1 Year Ago

Julius Tabe, who was until his arrest known as “President of the Interim Government of the Federal Republic of Ambazonia (Southern Cameroons)” and nine others, were ordered to pay for damages.

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Ondo NSCDC Arrest Two For Scamming Women On Social Media

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 01:23


The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Ondo State have apprehended two members of a syndicate involved in Internet love scam to dupe unsuspecting women.

The suspects are Giftency Oshafa, an undergraduate, and Bella Avwerosuo.

Ondo State Commandant of the NSCDC, Christiana Abiakam-Omanu, made the disclosure to journalists on Tuesday in Akure, the capital.

She said the two suspects were arrested through an intelligence gathering carried out by officers of the state command.

She explained that investigations showed that the gang had numerous bank accounts they used in duping their victims noting that the accounts are now undergoing forensic analysis. 

In another related development, the command also apprehended a gang posing as traditionalist with the ability to facilitate money rituals for their victims.

The arrested gang always swindled their victims of huge sum of money and continue to blackmail them in order to extort more money. 

Abiakam-Omanu added, “Also, our intelligence gathering revealed that a syndicate of Nigerians in Oman were suspected to have obtained the victims by false pretence. 

“An accomplice to the suspect based in Nigeria, Akinlosotu Emmanuel, has been arrested while others are being tailed by our men.

“Currently, efforts are made to repatriate the notorious foreign-based suspects including Oladipupo Paulina and Shipe Alaba.”

The suspects would be charged to the court at the completion of the Investigation, according to the command.

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Sowore’s Detention: Decree 2 By Subterfuge By Richard Akinnola

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 00:30


Richard Akinnola

Richard Akinnola

Most statutes, particularly one that circumscribe the liberty and fundamental rights of individuals, have to go through the crucible of judicial furnace.

Our law reports are replete with various decisions, dating back to the 60s, where the judiciary rose to the occasion to protect the liberty of citizens, particularly under the rampaging military dictatorships and Nigeria's human rights jurisprudence has been able to develop and enriched through such actions.

Therefore, the judicial detention of the Convener of Revolution Now movement, Omoyele Sowore, would similarly have to pass through the litmus test of judicial decisions.

Though Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court partially acceded to the request of the Department of State Services, which brought an ex-parte application to detain the man for 90 days, the judge nonetheless granted a 45-day detention, at first instance. In other words, the detention order under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011, could be renewed, akin to the notorious States Security (Detention of persons) Decree No. 2 of 1984 (as amended), which was renewable every three months by the detaining authority.

It is within this context that l am analysing this issue, drawing extensively on how the judiciary dealt with the issue of Decree 2 during the military era. It is necessary to draw this parallel because Sowore's detention under the Terrorism Act, is on all fours with detention under Decree 2 by the military.

Section  27 of Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011 under which the judge made the detention order states:
(1) An authorised officer may issue a detention order in respect of a conveyance if he is of the opinion that -
(a)  A threat has been made to commit an act of violence  against the conveyance or against any person  or property  on board the conveyance  or the conveyance is used for an act of illegality  or intended to commit an offence under thus act.
(b) An act of violence is likely to be committed against the conveyance or against any person or property  on board the conveyance."

But how did the judiciary rise to the occasion under the various military governments when people were variously detained under various detention laws?

In his characteristic candour, Dr Akinola Aguda was livid at the abuse of state power when in 1969, he had to adjudicate in the case of Chief Mojeed Agbaje, a lawyer, who was being detained by the police.
Agbaje had sued the Western State Commissioner of Police for unlawful detention. The commissioner stated that the lawyer was detained by the Inspector-General of Police under Section 3(1) of the Armed Forces and Police (Special Powers) Decree No 24 of 1967.

The detention order read, “Whereas I, Kam Salem, Inspector-General of Police, am satisfied that the person concerned in acts prejudicial to public order or in the preparation or instigation of such acts and that by reason thereof, it is necessary to exercise control over him."

Within six days, Justice Aguda, then of the Western State High Court, heard the case with swiftness that earned him commendation from the Court of Appeal.

In his judgement delivered on June 12, 1969, Justice Aguda declared that the detention order was invalid because the detainee was held in a place contrary to what was contained in the detention order.
Referring to the relevant provisions of the Decree, Justice Aguda declared: “As it should be noted, these are wide and arbitrary powers in derogation of the entrenched clauses of the constitution relating to fundamental rights as contained in Chapter III of the constitution. 

"It is high handed for the police to hold a citizen of this country in custody in various places for over 10 days without showing him the authority under which he is being held or least inform him verbally of such authority... we have not come to a point where the court is subservient to the police and the Inspector-General of Police, felt himself called upon to sit as a Court of Appeal to this court."

He subsequently ordered the immediate release of Chief Agbaje. Decree 24 of 1967 under which Chief was detained, was the second detention decree under the military. The first of such decrees was the State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree No. 3 of 1966. Thereafter, there was the Public Law and State Edict No. 5 of 1970 of East Central State.

It is, however, instructive to note that these laws were passed during a period of emergency when Nigeria was at war and not at peace like now.

Decree 2 of 1984, which underwent series of refurbishing to suit various fancies of military dictatorship, was used to harangue perceived government opponents, a situation whereby even those who were supposed to be held for ordinary felony that fell under the criminal code, were held under this decree.

But Justice C. O. Segun (as he then was) of Lagos High Court in Mike Ozekhome V. President of Federal Republic of Nigeria (unreported) came hard on the government over this arbitrariness of detaining common offenders under the decree.

He held: “The rule of law is still in existence even in a military government and where a law is passed by such a government, it binds it and all its functionaries. 

"The right of individual citizens under the rule of law should by respected and the Judiciary is a necessary agency of the rule of law and court that stand between the citizens and the government is alert to see that the State or Government is bound by the law and respect it. Any act of governance, which is not covered under the umbrella of an enabling law is a nullity. 

"The detention of the plaintiff/respondents which was not authorised by any law but purported to be authorised under Decree No. 2 of 1984 is a complete nullity.”

A major feature of detention laws was the ouster of courts jurisdiction. They specifically stated that no court could entertain any suit brought by any detainee held under the decree.

But some judges said no. There were several instances where some judges asserted authority and wriggled out of ouster clauses.

In Clement Onwudiwe V. Commissioner of Police and two others decided in May 28, 1970, Justice Agbakoba, then of Enugu High Court nullified a detention order under State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree No. 3 of 1966.

The Director of Pubic Prosecution, who appeared for the state, had argued that by virtue of the ouster clause in the decree, once a detention order had been exhibited, the court was not entitled to inquire into the matter.

But Justice Agbakoba said no. He said, “With respect, this proposition is not good in law; I also hold that I have the power to inquire into the legality of the applicant’s detention. 

"The applicant also needs to be told the grounds or cause of his arrest and detention. In the result and for the reasons given, I hold that the return is bad, insufficient and ambiguous and that the arrest and detention of the applicant on 20th March and contained in the detention order dated May 7, 1970 is illegal. I therefore order the immediate release of the applicant.”

Justice Agbakoba went further in another case involving Christian Molokwu V. Commissioner of Police to lampoon the government for trying to curtail people’s liberty by promulgating such obnoxious detention decrees.

At this time, the government had promulgated an all-encompassing decree, the Federal Military Government (Supremacy and Enforcement of Powers) Decree No. 28 of 1970. In this case, the detainee was held under the Public Law and State Security Edict No. 5 of 1970 of the East Central State. The Edict stated that no one could inquire into any detention order made under section 70 of the Edict which stated: “any order made pursuant to this Edict shall not be inquired into by a court of law.”

But Justice Agbakoba disagreed. In a scathing remark against the government, he stated, “It is my view that the wordings of the section and similar words in other statutes do not impose absolute prohibition on or operate as a complete bar to an ouster of jurisdiction of the courts. 

"In as much as and for so long as the Federal Government of Nigeria remained a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for so long would the Nigeria courts protect and vindicate fundamental human rights entrenched in the declaration. This is one class of cases in which the courts cannot relent from interference and that is so because no statute in Nigeria has legalised brutality.

“Therefore, if there is an allegation of inhuman treatment, then, notwithstanding that the statute contained prohibitive provision or provisions, tending to nullify any orders the court might make, I hold the view that the prohibition is not absolute nor the nullification automatic, since the purpose of enquiring is not to question the validity of the statute but to determine if there was an infringement of the citizen’s right to freedom from inhuman treatment."

In a situation where citizens are at the whims of an overbearing dictatorship with the arbitrary use of detention laws, it behoves on the judiciary to salvage the citizens.

Sections 6 (6) (b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) which vests judicial powers on the courts is a safety valve at this state against arbitrariness of government agencies.

It states: “The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section shall extend to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and any person in Nigeria and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto for the determination of any question and to the civil right and obligations of the person.”

Under the military juntas, In spite of all efforts to emasculate the citizens though a plethora of decrees, the courts stood firm between the citizen and the government.

Despite, ouster clauses in decrees then, our courts still had to wade through a plethora of marauding decrees, looking for the loopholes as Justice Roseline Omotoso held in 1984 in the case of Chief Victor Onabanjo, Chief Micheal Ajasin and Chief Bola Ige V . Special Military Tribunal.

Justice Omotoso held that no matter how well crafted, it was doubtful whether a legal draftsman could successfully oust the jurisdiction of the court.

Justice Micheal Kirby, then president of the Court of Appeal, Supreme-Court of New South Wales, Australia had this to say: “In the functions of courts in giving meaning to a written constitution, to legislation expressed in general terms or even to old precedents inherited from judges of earlier time, there is often plenty of room for judicial choice." (see Developing human right jurisprudence report by the commonwealth secretariat, London on a colloquium held in Bangalore, India February 24 26, 1988).

In his book, Road to Justice, the inimitable Lord Denning also  held: “ A country can put up with laws that are harsh or unjust so long as they are administered by judges who can mitigate their harshness or alleviate their unfairness.”

In other words, judicial activism becomes inevitable in these circumstances.

In “Developing Human Rights Jurisprudence, Commonwealth Secretariat Report 1992,” Justice Bhagwati enthused: “The term judicial activism is slippery as Robert Mcclosky said, but it does have some meaning. To him, one of its aspects was the supreme court’s propensity to intervene in the governing process. Judicial activism is not only defensible but it so also inevitable in any system of constitutionalism. The two fundamental correlative elements of constitutionalism: Charles Mclewan has said “are legal limits of arbitrary power and a complete political responsibility of government to the governed. Without a creative and activist Judiciary, these two elements would be impossible to achieve.”

Even though Section 1 (2) of the Federal Military Government ( Supremacy and Enforcements of Powers) Decree 13 of 1984 stated that certain laws, like Decree 2 were necessary for the peace, order and good government of the country, Justice C.O. Segun in Ozekhome V. President of Nigeria (Supra), held that such decrees must be constructed strictly and narrowly.

He said: “There can only be good government if rule of law is maintained and the law as passed by the government is obeyed by the same government."

This issue was emphasised by the Supreme Court in Ariori V. Elemo 1993  I SCNLR where Justice Kayode Eso held: “Having regard to the nascence of our constitution, the comparative educational backwardness, the socio-economic and cultural background of the people of the country and the reliance that is being placed and necessarily have to be placed, as a result of this background on the courts, and finally, the general atmosphere in the country, I think the Supreme Court has a duty to safeguard the fundamental rights in this country.”

Against this background, it therefore behoves on the judiciary to stamp its authority against the abuse of Terrorism (Prevention) Act of 2011, as strident criticisms and peaceful protests against government policies can now be readily used as a tool to unjustly incarcerate critics. Anything short of this amounts to a judicial imprimatur of arbitrariness and a recourse to Decree 2 by subterfuge.

Richard Akinnola is Director, Media Law Centre
 

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Italian Prime Minister To Resign Amidst Crisis

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 00:19


Fourteen Months after the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the League Party of anti-migrant politician, Mateo Salvini, formed a coalition to govern Italy, Giuseppe Conte, an independent chosen to serve as Prime Minister by the political partners, told the Italian Senate Tuesday that he will resign his office as head of government. 

Conte said Salvini was irresponsible, the BBC reports.

Conte, whose popularity had been trumped by Salvini’s policy towards migrants crossing the Mediterranean, accused him of ‘creating a new political crisis for Italy for personal and party interests.'

Salvini had earlier tabled a vote of no confidence on Conte’s time as Prime Minister.

"I take this opportunity to announce that I will present my resignation as head of government to the president of the republic," Conte informed the Senate. 

The outgoing prime minister said Salvini’s actions were driven by the success of his party at the European parliament elections.

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Med-view, NAHCON Disagree Over 2019 Hajj Exercise

Sahara Reporters - Wed, 2019-08-21 00:17


A Medview airline plane

A Medview airline plane

Med-View Airline and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria are currently at loggerheads over the ongoing 2019 hajj exercise to Saudi Arabia.

The airline, through its solicitor, Maritime, Commercial and Immigration Law Chambers in Lagos accused NAHCON especially its Chairman, Mr. Adbullahi Mukhtar, of deliberately frustrating its participation in the exercise because it refused to ascend to his request to give some of its pilgrims to a Saudi Arabian airline, Flynas.

Documents obtained by our correspondent with series of dates to the Presidency, Chief of Staff to the President, Secretary to the Federal Government, First Bank and NAHCON’s Chairman, alleged that the commission engaged in economic sabotage against the Federal Government and wanted the government to properly investigate the 2019 hajj exercise.

When contacted, solicitor to Med-View, Principal Lead Counsel, Maritime, Commercial and Immigration Law Chambers, Debo Adeleke, queried the arrangement of Mukhtar for insisting on taking pilgrims from Nigerian airlines and give to Flynas.

The solicitor insisted that rather than allowing Med-View, who had airlifted 4,383 of its 5,720 pilgrims to continue with the hajj exercise with its contractual agreement with Max Air, Mukhtar wanted to compel Med-View to put some of its pilgrims on Flynas.

Adeleke said, “If they were dissatisfied with the performance, why increase our pilgrims to 6,443 only to write that we have failed to discharge our obligation when the Med-view Managing Director explicitly refused to give its pilgrims to Flynas and insisted on its agreement with MaxAir and Air Peace?

“Someone in NAHCON is actively, surreptitiously and clandestinely working to sabotage the economic policy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

"The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission must be brought in to look at this situation."

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Nigerians Are Poor, Expectant Of A New Life -Buhari

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 22:21


President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigerians are poor and are anxiously expectant of a better life.  

He said this while addressing newly appointed ministers at a presidential retreat in Abuja.  

He charged the ministers on the task ahead, stating that his administration inherited challenges from the past government.  

He said, "The majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life.  

"A Nigeria in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare.

"Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people.  

"As I mentioned earlier, this administration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few.

"A country in which 18 local governments in the North-East were under the control of Boko Haram; decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated; a rent-seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports; significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I can go on and on.

"The people want a new life and we must give them this."
 

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Poll: Nigerian Judicial System Weaker In Last Two Years

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 22:20


Nigerian judges

Nigerian judges

The Nigerian judicial system has been considered weaker in the last two years.

According to a poll conducted by Gavel, a civic-tech organisation with a focus on the judiciary, Nigerians said the judiciary has been weaker in the last two years.

About 85 per cent Nigerians, who participated in the poll, said the system has been weaker.

The poll, conducted on social media, asked Nigerians their thoughts on the strength of the judiciary.

Commenting on the result of the poll, Nelson Olanipekun, the team lead of the civic-tech organisation, said the poll showed the dissatisfaction of many Nigerians with the judiciary system. 

He said, “The judiciary has a strong role in making democracy work and ensuring a peaceful society, the poll shows there is huge expectation from the Chief Justice of Nigeria as he begins a new leadership journey.”

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Guild Of Medical Directors Demands National Holiday For Stella Adadevoh

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 22:09


The Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria has asked the Nigerian Government to declare August 19 as a national holiday to immortalise late Stella Adadevoh, who died in her attempt to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in the country.

The demand was made in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Abuja chapter of the guild, Biodun Ogungbo.

He said the sacrifice made by Adadevoh was the highest form of sacrifice anyone could make. 

He said, “It is said that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friend.

“The most tragic part of her passing is that she couldn’t be given a proper burial, and with all the respect that her sacrifice demands. 

“The very bug that cut her down is so virulent, so unforgiving, that even that honour was deprived of her.

“She had put her life on the line for 170 million of her fellow citizens, many of whom do not even understand the concept of what it means to be a citizen. 

“The very least that Nigeria can do in appreciation, is to honour her.

“The Guild of Medical Directors of Nigeria and other medical associations honoured Adadevoh in their small capacities in the past. We gave awards and plaques and foodstuff to the hospital. It’s not enough.

“Nigeria should declare August 19 each year a national holiday and in her name. 

“That way, some Nigerian children in six decades (time) can ask their parents, ‘Who is Stella Ameyo Adadevoh?’ And the parent can reply, ‘That woman saved my life, and the lives of all of us’.

“It is the least we can do. It is the least we should do. She should never and will never be forgotten.”

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No Cause for Alarm, Says Atiku After S’Court Ruling Denying Him Access To INEC's Server

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 20:48


Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party during the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has said he anticipated Tuesday’s ruling of the Supreme Court denying him access to the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Abubakar, who spoke through Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), said there was "no cause for alarm".

He said, “There is no cause for alarm in the decision of the apex court as it relates to our petition at the tribunal.

“The issue of the server was aimed at establishing that the election was rigged during the collation of results and this was thoroughly addressed through witnesses and documents tendered and admitted during the presentation of the petition.”

He expressed optimism that the tribunal would do justice at the end of the day.

Abubakar had approached the Supreme Court praying for an order to set aside the decision of the tribunal, which refused to compel INEC to allow him access to the central server allegedly used in the conduct of the presidential poll.

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Flood Kills Six, Displaces Over 600 In Jigawa

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 20:47


Makurdi Floods

File photo

No fewer than six persons have been killed during a heavy rainfall in Jigawa State.

This was made known on Tuesday by the Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Sani Yusuf. 

According to the SEMA boss, four local govenrment areas were affected after downpour including Kirikasamma, Kafin Hausa, Guri, and Birninkudu.

He explained that one pregnant woman named Halima Manu and two of her children were among those killed after their mud house collapsed on them.

Yusuf added that a couple in Madici Village in Kirikasamma LGA were also killed while in Kafin Hausa LGA, another couple was affected.

He confirmed that the woman died while her husband was taken to a hospital for treatment, adding that a bridge collapsed and many houses were destroyed by flood in Gwaza Village under Birninkudu LGA.

Yusuf said the flood displaced at least 600 people, some of whom are taking refuge in schools in the state.

Deputy Governor of the state, Umar Namadi, promised the victims that they would get relief materials from the government during his visit.

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Rivers: NBA Threatens Court Boycott Over Kidnap Of Members

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 20:46


The Nigerian Bar Association in Rivers State has said it would withdraw the services of its members from the courts in the state over the increasing rate of assassinations and abductions.

Speaking with journalists in Port Harcourt, the capital, Chairman of the NBA in Rivers, Sylvester Adaka, said, “The NBA has observed with dismay the kidnapping of lawyers and their family members in Rivers State, particularly, the recent kidnap of Iyke Emelogu on August 4, 2019 at Unity Estate, Eneka, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. 

“Also recently, the kidnap of Sunday Wonmo and Monima Peters, all members of the NBA Rivers State and a couple of others that we have not listed here.

“We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all lawyers and their family members in the custody of the kidnappers. 

“In the failure to accede to our demands and release our colleagues in detention within the nearest future, members of the NBA in Rivers State will call our members to withdraw their professional services from all cases involving kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery and the likes in all the courts in the state.”

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BREAKING: Court Summons DSS, Police Over Sowore's Detention

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 20:41


The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the Department of State Services and the Inspector-General of Police to appear before it on September 4 over the detention pro-democracy activist and co-convener of #RevolutionNowmovement, Omoyele Sowore.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo gave the order on Tuesday following an ex-parte application filed by Olukoya Ogungbeje, a Lagos-based lawyer. 

Sowore was arrested by operatives of the DSS in Lagos on August 3 over the planned RevolutionNow protest slated for August 5.

He has remained in DSS detention since that day. 

Ogungbeje, who said he also participated in the #RevolutionNowprotest but was not arrested, urged the court to declare as unconstitutional and illegal police clampdown of the protesters and the arrest of Sowore by the DSS.

He urged the court to make an order for the immediate and unconditional release of those arrested and detained.

Joined as respondents in the application are the Federal Government, the DSS and the Inspector-General of Police.

Giving reasons why the arrested persons should be immediately and unconditionally released, Ogungbeje said, “There has been a grave constitutional infraction committed by the respondents against the applicant and other persons who engaged in the peaceful protest for good governance in Nigeria.

“On August 3, 2019, convener of the protest, Omoyele Sowore was arrested, whisked away and detained in the detention facility of the 2nd respondent (DSS).

“Mr Omoyele Sowore has not committed any offence known to law to warrant the infringement and likely infringement of rights by the respondents.

“By engaging in the peaceful protest, the applicant and other persons have not committed any offence known to law to warrant the treatment meted out to them by the respondents and their agents.” 

But rather than order the release of the detainees, Justice Oweibo said he needed to hear from the FG, DSS and the IG.

He ordered Ogungbeje to put them on notice and directed that the respondents must appear before him on September 4 to show cause why Sowore and others should not be released immediately.

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Gunmen Invade Rivers Community, Kill Two

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 20:02


Two persons were killed in the early hours of Tuesday in Azubuogu community under Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State when gunmen invaded the place.

Several persons were injured by the yet-to-be identified hoodlums while dozens of residents have been forced to vacate the area for fear of further attacks, according to a report by PUNCH.

A source close to the community, who identified himself as Onyeka, said the people of Azubuogu were taken unawares by the attackers, adding that the attack could be related to a protracted land dispute.

He said, “We cannot particularly state the real cause of the attack but we suspect that it could be connected to an unresolved land dispute.

“I heard that two persons were killed while several others were injured.”

Confirming the incident, spokesperson for the police in Rivers, Nnamdi Omoni, said they were on the trail of the attackers.

Omoni said, “It happened in Oyigbo LGA. From the real-time report I got from the Divisional Police Officer in Oyigbo, they said one person was killed.

“This happened when youths from Ogoni invaded Azubuogu community and attacked some persons. But normalcy has been restored and an investigation is ongoing.

“We suspect the attack could be as a result of a land dispute but the ongoing investigation will reveal the real cause of the attack.”

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Nigerians React To Re-arrest Of Kidnapper, Wadume, By Police

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 20:01


Nigerians have been reacting to news of the re-arrest of kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume by the police in a hideout in Hotoro area of Kano State on Monday.

Wadume gained notoriety after he escaped arrest on August 6, 2019, following an altercation between men of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Police in Ibi, Taraba State, which resulted in the death of three policemen and a civilian.

The kidnapper, in a confessional video on Tuesday, said he was freed from the policemen, who initially arrested him by some soldiers.

Following his shocking revelations, Nigerians took to popular social networking platform, Twitter, to express their feelings. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Police Arrest Taraba Kidnap Kingpin, Wadume 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

One user with the handle @barbatunday, said, “I doubt if this is the real guy. I could remember the audacity of Evans. 

“This one looks like someone who was arranged to accept the crime. Trust nobody for Naijaooo especially the police.”

Another user @Tavish_A, said, “I can't wrap my head on this. My God, clearly evident, this is amongst the reason why Boko haram still thrive in this country.

“I bet you many top officials are in the cycle of the web that benefits from this ongoing painful war that has claimed so many innocent lives.”

Doubting the authenticity of Wadume’s statement @AmahRex tweeted, “From his body language and the short narration, you'll still understand that the guy is being evasive with his statement.”

A user named @Engrwatsu1, said, “I am happy for Nigeria at large and I'm happy for the Nigeria Police Force for putting more effort to get this notorious kidnapper back. See Also Breaking News I was Freed By Soldiers, Arrested Kidnap Kingpin, Wadume Says 0 Comments 2 Days Ago

“Good and kudos to Nigeria Police Force.”

On Facebook, one Lydia Valch said, “We are now understanding why Boko Haram is flourishing in North-East despite the presence of soldiers everywhere.”

Expressing doubts, Geoffrey Aondove, said, “Hope it is true, because it is hard to trust the police. They are masters of corruption and telling lies. 

“At the same time, the army is gradually losing its prestige and respect.”

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Sanwo-Olu Assigns Portfolios To Commissioners, Others

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 19:16


Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assigned portfolios to his appointed cabinet members. 

The appointees, who would serve as commissioners and special advisers, were also inaugurated on Tuesday at the State Secretariat in Alausa, Ikeja.

See full list of commissioners and special advisers:

Commissioners

Commissioner for Finance -Mr Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo

Commissioner for Education -Mrs Folashade Adefisayo

Commissioner for Health -Prof Akin Abayomi

Commissioner for Fiscal Planning and Urban Development -Dr Idris Salako

Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment -Mr Tunji Bello

Commissioner for Information and Strategy -Mr Gbenga Omotoso

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA -Mrs Bolaji Dada

Commissioner Energy and Natural Resources -Mr Lere Odusote

Commissioner for Transportation -Dr Frederic Oladeinde

Commissioner for Agriculture -Mr Gbolahan Lawal

Commissioner for Housing -Moruf Akinderu Fatai

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice -Mr Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)

Commissioner for Science and Technology -Mr Hakeem Fahm

Commissioner for Ministry Establishment, Training and Pension -Mrs Ajibola Ponnle

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure -Engr. Aramide Adeyoye

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development -Mr Segun Dawodu

Commissioner for Home Affairs -Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf

Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs -Mrs Yetunde Arobieke

Commissioner for Commerce and Industry -Mrs Lola Akande

Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture -Mrs Olufunke Adebolu

Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget -Mr Sam Egube

Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations -Dr Wale Ahmed

Special Advisers

Special Adviser for Agriculture -Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya

Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement -Princess Aderemi Adebowale

Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Affairs -Mr Afolabi Ayantayo

Special Adviser for Housing -Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka

Special Adviser for Drainage and Water Resources –Mr Joe Igbokwe

Special Adviser for Innovation and Technology -Mr Tubosun Alake

Special Adviser for Urban Development -Architect Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi

Special Adviser for Central Business Districts, CDB -Anofi Olanrewaju Elegushi

Special Adviser for Arts and Culture -Bonu Solomon Saanu

Special Adviser for Transportation -Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka

Special Adviser for Commerce and Industry -Oladele Ajayi

Special Adviser for Education -Mr Tokunbo Wahab

Special Adviser for Sustainable Development Goals and Lagos Global -Mrs Solape Hammond.

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US Boosts Fight Against AIDS In Nigeria With $75m

Sahara Reporters - Tue, 2019-08-20 19:07


The United State has allocated an additional $75m to fight HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, during a visit to Port Harcourt, capital of River State, on Tuesday.

A number of US Government-led organisations are implementing an Anti-Retroviral Treatment surge program in Rivers State to identify and provide treatment to approximately 180,000 persons living with HIV, who have not previously received such. 

These organisations include US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, US Centre for Disease Control, US Department of Defence, and US Agency for International Development.

Symington, who led a delegation that was received by governor of Rivers, Nyesom Wike, highlighted the US Government’s $75m budget increase for HIV control activities in Nigeria, with about $25m allocated for the ART surge activities.

The US delegation was in Rivers to advocate for the elimination of user-fees for all people living with HIV, antenatal care charges for pregnant women living with the virus, and other barriers hindering persons living with HIV from accessing health services.  

Symington said, “The United States remains committed to supporting Nigeria as it works to reduce and ultimately eliminate the scourge of HIV/AIDS among its people.” 

He noted the increased funding to make anti-retroviral drugs available would enable more people living with HIV to lead healthy, productive lives until the day a cure for the virus is found.

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